Hairy Blob is the realization that all text is contemporary, existing as inert matter or a reading thereof, held, performed or noted as addition to that archive, by a living being. Readings are shared and become consequential according to readers' access and leverage. It is an image of the world as radically of the moment, a synchronous concept of history. Utterly consequential, this image promotes the negation of transcendence while center-staging response in the here and now, leading to thinking about resourcefulness, attention to interest, and interest in attention.
Awkward as the image is (hair standing on end; rising, falling, on a mobile orb), it has persisted for a while, along with the name. In 2008, I drew a series of images 'about time' at the Banff Centre, that culminated in giving shape to the already lurking Hairy Blob.
In 2011, Hairy Blob was part of a performance lecture series at the MCA, Chicago, using prepared Whiteboards.
In 2012, I curated an exhibition called Hairy Blob at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, working with fellow artists to visually think through this material. We created a website, hairyblob.net, with additional projects. This material was assimilated over several decades, reading about space (and thus about time) across the humanities and sciences. An added perspective through lenses associated with cultural policy had made it all fruitful in new ways, from 2007 onwards.
Through images of temporality, the Hairy Blob explores the theme of transcendence, understood as the longing to go beyond weakness of body, strictures of faith and limits of knowledge, in pursuit of lust and power, and more. Through it, I appreciate the poetry and projective ingenuity behind the rise of figurations of transcendence through what is claimed as Western myth/religion; the contest of faith and science as vehicles of transcendence, played out, often brutally, through philosophy, technology and law; and the current stalemate in the face of ecologic perspectives.
Hairy Blob segments are currently those: Tribal Time, focusing on cosmogonies and the presence of ancestry as the simultaneity and co-location of becoming and having been; Imperial Time, staging a quest for dynastic, narrative and material continuity in contests over power; Mythical time, inventing future in the hero's ascent from the underworld to not earthly life, but afterlife, not an extension of material life, but transcending death; Scholastic time, and the violent alignment of narratives towards hegemony in the name of religious transcendence; Industrial time as the ascendance of scientific discourse into the role of provider of transcendence; Postmodern time as the looming stalemate, when neither religious nor scientific transcendence can convince anymore; and the Hairy Blob, when ecological, global, and other finite scenarios begin to ground the enterprise.
Hairy Blob Research Catalogue page
Hairy Blob as part of Talking Whitboards, 2016